Sons of Anarchy.
The critics can have Mad Men. They are welcome to drool over the perfectly coifed sexcapades of Don Draper and Co. Admittedly, Mad Men has quite a bit to recommend it, but I know the truth. I know that the best drama on TV currently is Sons of Anarchy.
It’s not Lost either. And it has never been Grey’s Anatomy. It was Battlestar Galactica, but sadly, that’s over with now. (And I am not entirely sure the time parameters for awards; so since the show ended in March would any of the last season be eligible for nomination?) I would be willing to make the argument for Friday Night Lights.
But really, there is nothing else like this gun-running Greek tragedy: action show about the give and take between outlaws, their rivals, and the law; family drama about the blessings and burdens of paternal inheritance; existential exploration of the consequences of violence and the fumbling for redemption; black comedy about the conflicts of normality and misanthropy; love poem to bygone ideas of autonomy. All of these elements, themes, and principles are circumscribed by one simple truth: choice is ALWAYS contingent on knowledge.
Expertly written and perfectly performed, the show moves with the inexorable pull of inevitable destruction, and yet each moment is startling and fresh; though you always feel deep in your gut that something bad is going to happen, you never know when or to whom. The smallest looks, comments, even interpretations of tone of voice, become the catalysts of sequences that tiptoe on the edge of doom, and sometimes, fall over that edge. There is no room in this created universe for a smug sense of triumph or obnoxious self-reference to one’s own cleverness. This is a stark light shown upon the human soul, exposing its unending intricacy. The self-satisfied need not apply.
The final moment of Season 2 is the most representative image of the show: Jax’s shattering scream of despair as he watches the boat containing his infant son flee out into the ocean, observed by the men who are at once both the cause and the solution to such ruin.
Right now Hulu is re-airing Season 2 in batches of episodes, and you can rent Season 1 on DVD. But if this all sounds like too much for you, stick with office politics and social-frustrated desire.
The TV Girl
Making the world a better place, one show at a time.
- The TV Girl
- Washington, DC, United States
- I guess you would like to know a little bit about the person making all these proclamations upon good taste and horrid characters. I'm Andrea and when I was 15 I fell in love. An hour after meeting "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" I was forever altered in the way only love can, and I never questioned for one minute afterwards that television offered me an amazing chance to experience lives and moments that I could never imagine. So now, when I'm not getting distracted by my real life, I write about TV. I also read, am finishing a Master's degree in English Literature, travel, am attempting to learn vegan cooking, am the 5th of 6 children, and drive my roommate nuts by constantly cleaning our already clean apartment. Now that we're old friends, time for you to take my opinions as the be all and end all.